Release from the President of Religious Affairs of Turkey Prof. Dr. Erbaş on the massacre in New Zealand

Release from the President of Religious Affairs of Turkey Prof. Dr. Erbaş on the massacre in New Zealand

Friday, March 15, 2019

Unfortunately, tens of our Muslim brothers and sisters have been massacred by the atrocious and ominous attack towards the mosques around the time of Friday prayer today in New Zealand. Savage attacks towards the worshipping people explicitly show how fascism and intolerance transformed into deviance and cruelty.

In recent years anti-Islamism which is increasingly rising especially in the western world is evolving quickly to a hate and hatred to Islam unfortunately due to the lack of the required preventive measures. Therefore, this and similar acts which we have frequently encountered towards the Muslims appear to become conscious and systematic acts rather than individual and exceptional.

Presence of the terror attacks to the Muslims and mosques in various locations of the world and especially in Masjid al-Aqsa, which is one of the most sacred places of worship for Muslims, is a quite desperate situation and never acceptable.  

Islamophobia, which has transformed into an industry that produces prejudice and hostility against the sacred values, places of worship and members of the peace religion Islam, which deems fundamental rights and freedoms of all humans as inviolable, considers mercy towards the creatures as an inseparable necessity of obedience and worship to the Creator, is an eclipse of reason and a grave crime against humanity behind which includes dirty relationships of interest and racism.   

The real objective of the Islamophobic attitude which is a malicious and dark project that tries to show Islam only as an ideology feeding violence and terror and disseminating this image in the global public by an artificial fear is to form an atmosphere of fight, dispute and conflict between the cultures, societies, religions and civilizations under all situations and conditions and to benefit from this atmosphere. 

Hence, I should explicitly state before the international public again that the attacks towards the temples which are deemed by all the religions, ethics and law disciplines as inviolable, is an act of violation towards the future, common conscience and hope of peaceful co-existence. 

Therefore, I call for all the belief and conscience holders to show the necessary reaction against this and such cases; international organizations and civil society organizations to take much more initiative about human rights and freedom of belief; political mechanisms and administrators to fulfil the requirement of law sensitively by taking the necessary measures on the prevention of hate and hostility.     

On the other hand, Muslims should be more sensitive among themselves about coping with all the problems and difficulties including especially the attacks towards the mosques and sacred values, about reinforcing their unity and togetherness; should consider the diversities a richness and should act in cooperation by being awake against the instigations and divisions. There is no doubt that the Muslims shall act with common sense against the most difficult events and such provocative cases they encounter.

The Presidency of Religious Affairs of Turkey has always been against all the words, attitudes and attacks towards the common values and peace of humanity. In the same manner, we will be in complete solidarity with the Muslims of New Zealand with respect to the terror attack which gave us a deep sorrow.  

I strongly condemn again the savage attacks to the mosques which are the most powerful spaces of peace and tranquillity for all the humanity. May the mercy of Allah (swt) be upon our brothers and sisters who become martyrs, may Allah grant urgent recovery to the wounded, and I offer my condolences to the Muslim world.